Bread and salt — here’s how to break that troubling link

Bread has largely been out of my diet since I began efforts to reduce my daily intake of sodium. Most breads, whether packaged or made fresh at local bakeries, are loaded with salt. I’ve worked hard to find a salt-free whole wheat bread and other varieties like a brown rice bread.

My rice bread find from Minneapolis. A nice low-salt alternative to high-sodium white breads.
My rice bread find from Minneapolis. A nice low-salt alternative to high-sodium white breads.

So I was intrigued to see a Bon Appetit e-mail with the subject line We Asked a Nutritionist: Which Bagged Bread Is Healthiest? Clicking through to the story, I found that headlined How to Find the Healthiest Bagged Bread at the Supermarket.

It’s an informative piece, separating out bread myth from reality and rating various types of bread. I’d hoped it would look at brands of bread too, but no luck on that front. It did take on two of the three food demons — salt and sugar.

“Aim for bread with less than 150 mg of sodium per slice of bread,” Carrie Motschwiller, a registered dietitian and wellness manager in New York City, says in the piece. I’d go further and try to cut out all salt in bread or simply skip the bread.

What is says on sugar is worth reprinting in its entirety:

“There should not be added sugar in bread; there is no reason for it,” says Motschwiller. Often, store-bought breads contain sugar, honey, or molasses, to make the product more palatable to Americans’ taste buds. In a nutritionally-perfect scenario, your bread should contain 0 grams of sweetener, although Motschwiller says she’d cap the amount at 4 g per serving.

Always read food labels and avoid products high levels of salt, sugar and fat.

John

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